To conclude this series, we go to the man who started it all. JD founded Red Reporter 10 years ago this weekend, and we're lucky enough to hear from the man himself about how things got off the ground here. Enjoy.
Can you remind us again about how Red Reporter came about?
First of all I'm fighting the urge to write 3500 words on the Australian Open and the Buckeyes national championship per Brendan's comment here: http://www.redreporter.com/2015/1/20/7863041/red-reporter-belated-exit-interviews-rijosabocaseywkrp#284744132
But I'll refrain.
Somewhat boring origin story:
I started a Reds blog in 2002 on blogspot after reading Aaron Gleeman for a bit, soon moved to a self hosted blog at RedsDaily.com (which was powered by Movable Type - that should make a few people reading laugh.) Wordpress was something called b2 at the time, and I believe the consensus was that Movable Type was superior. It was built in Perl I think, and I was constantly breaking things.
RedsDaily lasted for awhile until Tyler Bleszinski asked me to join SB Nation. It seemed like a no brainer with how huge DailyKos was, and how well Tyler's site (AthleticsNation) had done using the DailyKos platform. The biggest draw might have been not having to mess with Movable Type anymore, honestly. If I remember right, RedReporter was the third SB Nation site to go live after AthleticsNation and Bleed Cubbie Blue.
Does Red Reporter offer a dental plan yet?
What was the Reds team like when you started Red Reporter?
So bad. Bad enough that 2006 seemed like a really nice year. Almost .500!
What was Red Reporter like when you made the transition to SB Nation?
We actually had the start to a community at RedsDaily, but the transition to Red Reporter speeded community growth. Game Threads and the Scoop platform (not sure what Vox is calling it now) were kind of the "killer app" I think, having a regular thread every day during the season made the community explode.
What was the most exciting event to cover in your tenure?
Probably "the trade." Given that it was 9 years ago, I guess some people might need a reminder: http://m.mlb.com/news/article/1555040/
It's funny, in hindsight, how little it mattered (most of the players involved, on both sides, ended up being pretty bad), but trading for Royce Clayton in the middle of a playoff run was a very special thing.
How do you think Red Reporter has changed since your tenure?
From what I have seen it has improved. Of course the community has turned over somewhat, but you will have that over the life of a site. I think the site has had quite a few very talented people working on it since I had to leave, and it is amazing to me how high the site's profile has become. If I meet a Reds fan at this point and I tell them I started the site I kind of expect them to have heard of it, which is amazing.
What was the most fun thing about running Red Reporter?
Absolutely the community and the friends I made there. I tried to set a tone for the kind of Reds community I felt was lacking online at the time, and the result exceeded anything I had hoped for, and I still think it's the best Reds site and community online.
What do you think the future holds for RR?
Hopefully many more run ins with Paul Daugherty, because that's been BY FAR my favorite Red Reporter thing lately.
I am a supporter no matter which direction the site goes (tennis? Ohio State football?), but I do hope the site maintains its sort of outsider status. For example, I personally find more value in Red Reporter than I do the Cincinnati Enquirer and I hope the former doesn't ever try to emulate the latter.
A sidenote: I own a company now that publishes websites in various areas, and I can literally say professionally I am where I am in life because of Red Reporter. It has been a huge part of my life, and I'm so glad to see it still going and doing so well.